Celebrating Fitness at CrossFit Hamptons

The mural inside CrossFit Hamptons.
The mural inside CrossFit Hamptons. Photo credit: Kelly Laffey

Dripping sweat from their chins and pushing through 300 squats, several members at CrossFit Hamptons worked toward their goal of completing “Murph.”

“Murph,” is one of CrossFit’s “Hero” workouts, named to commemorate U.S. military servicemen killed in combat. Possibly its most grueling, “Murph” goes like this: One mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air-squats, one mile run. A good “Murph” time is 45 minutes and members of the gym wobbled back into the box, as CrossFit gym spaces are known, as they completed the final mile. At 45:10 Eddie Aiduck of Southampton was one of the first to finish.

The participants had gathered to complete “Murph” as a celebration for fellow member, Dan Farrell, who was celebrating one year at the Southampton facility. Joining changed his life. Farrell, of Hampton Bays, came to CrossFit Hamptons with a goal to get into better shape. A goal inspired by a romantic relationship, Farrell says, “I figured that person deserves a little bit better than some fat guy that likes to eat wings and drink beer all the time.” Farrell began training a year ago and went from weighing 231 pounds at 5’7” when he started “and this morning on the scale I was 163,” he says.

While “Murph” was a celebration for one of the facility’s many dedicated members, Jay Jinks, co-owner of CrossFit Hamptons and a certified trainer at the facility, was in the ring of participants, chipping away at the multitude of reps, with reason to celebrate as well. CrossFit Hamptons, which was founded by Jinks, his father Jay Jinks Jr., and business partner Jessica Insalaco, celebrated one year in business on January 2.

Jinks, a Green Beret with the U.S. Special Forces, first learned of CrossFit while stationed in Iraq in 2006. Needing to increase his physical ability for the demand of his responsibilities as a serviceman, Jinks and a friend began visiting an area coffee shop to download CrossFit videos. They completed the workouts at their military base’s gym. “I went from 240 to 215 [pounds] in three months, and my physical stamina was excellent—my strength was there to pick up my gear or a fellow soldier or team member,” Jinks says.

Insalaco, one of the facility’s head trainers as well as co-owner, encourages anyone to give the fitness program a try, as the demanding workouts can be scaled for anyone no matter age or physical ability.

CrossFitters engage a variety of skills and styles of training, from Olympic weight lifting to gymnastics, in order to achieve results. Workouts, known as WODs or Workout of the Day, contain a mix of exercises and are designed to achieve optimal fitness by pushing participants to their maximum threshold for short periods of time. Many WODs, however intense, are shorter than 20 minutes. Insalaco happily cites articles from The New York Times and Shape magazine that have reported on studies defending that short-interval, intense exercise will actually reduce the effects of aging.

Each class begins with a 400-meter row or run, a 6- to 10-minute warm-up routine, a series of stretches, followed with a skill session to assist participants with forms and methods necessary to complete the WOD. When the WOD begins, every person in the room completes the same workout.

“I want everybody to feel welcomed here,” Jinks says. “I want it to feel like a family, first person done is cheering until the last person is done. No one makes fun of someone for not being able to lift a 400-pound dead lift; that person might go to a newcomer and share their technique.” All fitness enthusiasts are greeted by Jay’s smiling face when they arrive for a class. “As long as there are people who want to look and feel better, then we will be here,” Jinks says.

CrossFit Hamptons is located at 375 County Road 39, Southampton. For more info, visit cfhamptons.com.

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